ATHENS — The Georgia football team is getting bigger and deeper, according to head coach Kirby Smart.
The 25-member signing class, which still could add a member or two, is ranked among the nation’s best when it comes to stars. But Smart, when speaking Wednesday morning to the in-house broadcast crew, indicated he was looking more at heights and weights.
“When you look at the size of the class, at each position, there’s not a lot of what we call reaches, or undersized guys,” Smart said. “We hit the size quota we wanted to get, so we could get a little bigger team.”
Nowhere is that more apparent than on the offensive line, where five players of at least 330 pounds have joined the team. Smart said he was “pleased” with that, to the point the players needed to watch their weight. Georgia loses three starters off an offensive line that was the weak link of last year’s team, but Smart and his staff believes there’s enough talent returning and coming in to be a good, physical unit.
“If we can keep that demeanor and that attitude that we’re more physically tough than you and we’re going to dominate the line of scrimmage, that’s what you want to have,” Smart said. “And some of these linemen, they may be able to come in here and play next year, some of them may not. But they’re going to provide our team with a lot of depth. And some of the linemen last year who redshirted should be able to help with depth.”
Georgia has signed only two defensive linemen so far, and only Devonte Wyatt tips the scale at more than 300 pounds. But Smart maintained he was still happy with how things are on both lines of scrimmage, saying it was “mandatory” they get deeper on both lines of scrimmage. Given the amount of good defensive linemen they have coming back, it may have not been necessary to get a big haul there this year.
In fact, it appears the team turned back the commitment of a junior college defensive linemen, Larrell Murchison.
Then there’s the depth factor. It was something Smart complained about when he got to Georgia last year, saying he felt reasonably good about the top 22 players, but not so much after that.
“There were positions last year we couldn’t make a change. We couldn’t motivate a guy with change because we didn’t have anybody else,” Smart said. “Now at almost every position we hope to have a great competition so those guys are motivated and give a little better effort in practice.”